April 24, 2003
Being the world's only superpower is just like being the biggest tough guy on the playground. You can threaten to beat anyone up you want whenever you want, and no one can stop you.
And then, if you're really feeling magnanimous, you can say, I'm not going to beat you up today, but if you don't do what I tell you, I'll beat you up tomorrow.
Right now, George Bush is really enjoying that tough guy role.
Here's what he said recently when asked whether he was targeting Syria or Iran: "I have no specific operation in mind at this point in time. I can't think of a specific moment or incident that would require military action as we speak."
Don't you just love those little ominous qualifiers, "at this point in time," or "as we speak"?
They are standard in the Bush Administration lexicon.
Donald Rumsfeld, when asked whether Cuba was next, said, "For now, no."
And Colin Powell, when asked a few months ago about U.S. intentions toward North Korea, responded: "No military option's been taken off the table, although we have no intention of attacking North Korea as a nation."
Powell's qualifier, "as a nation," left open the door for the United States to attack North Korea's nuclear facilities in a one-strike deal.
These not-so-veiled threats serve to remind every other nation on the planet just who's boss. Make no mistake: It's Don Corleone Bush.